Thursday, April 27, 2017

China's Navy - 2nd Aircraft Carrier Launched




我国第二艘航空母舰下水仪式26日上午在
中国船舶重工集团公司大连造船厂举行。


Yesterday, April 26, at 9 am local time and on the 68th birthday of China's navy PLAN, China's 2nd aircraft carrier of the Liaoning-class has been floated off its dry dock at Dalian. The ceremony was attended by members of the Central Committee of China's Communist Party and many high-ranking military leaders.

While the first carrier "Liaoning" was based on the semi-finished Soviet-era vessel "Varyag" which belonged to the Kuznetsov-class, China's second carrier has been completely home-built. Its name is still unknown, but rumours are saying it might probably be named "Shandong" on a later occasion.

A Chinese language news portal quoted by western sources had previously reported that the ship will have an aircraft capacity of 28-36 aircraft split between Chinese Shenyang J-15 fighters and helicopters, which is the same as that of the Liaoning. According to the new vessel's outward apperance, the most significant change from the "Liaoning" seems to be a reconfiguration of the phased array radar panels, with those on the new ship facing diagonally outward on both sides of bridge fore and aft.

“瓦良格”号原先在舰艏部的甲板下装有12枚巨大的SS-N-19重型反舰导弹,虽然在改装为辽宁舰时拆除了,但受制于原始设计,无法扩成机库。[金融界]

The new 50.000 tons aircraft carrier like the fully-operational "Liaoning" might still be able to use heavy SS-N-19 anti-ship guided missiles but which has never been confirmed. 12 SS-N-19 missiles of Soviet-era origin once belonged to the armament of a Kuznetsov-class aircraft carrier and might present a serious danger to western ship units if still available, especially when used with a nuclear warhead.

[Source: People's Network and other Chinese and western military sources on April 26/27, 2017]




Related News:

On today's press conference, summoned by China's Ministry of Defence, navy officer Zhang Zheng was specially praised for his outstanding abilities. Zhang Zheng served as the commander of China's first aircraft carrier "Liaoning" from September 2012 until May 2016 and was later promoted to the position of a Deputy Chief of Staff of the People's Liberation Army Navy PLAN. [People's Network on April 27, 2017]

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

N Korea - Culmination of Tensions Preparing US Strike ?


The following text is a summary from Australian and other western sources on a recent culmination of tensions between North Korea and the U.S. administration of Donald Trump:

North Korea threatens ‘merciless military strikes’ against US, as U.S. vice president Mike Pence visits the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea.

The isolated nation has trotted out three of its most senior officials to amp up its war rhetoric against the US.

North Korea’s deputy foreign minister, Sin Hong-chol, has told Al Jazeera that its army is on “maximum alert” after US Vice President Mike Pence visited the demilitarised zone between the two Koreas on Monday.

“The time of dictating orders by brandishing the US military might has gone,” Mr Sin told the Arabic broadcaster. The official made a passing swipe at Mr Trump and his administration, referring to him not as the President but as a “businessman”.

“If those businessmen in power in the US thought of intimidating us by any military or sanction threats — as the [Barack] Obama administration used to do and failed — they will soon find out such threats are useless,” Mr Sin said.

“If we notice any sign of assault on our sovereignty, our army will launch merciless military strikes against the US aggressors, wherever they may exist, from the remote US lands to the American military bases on the Korean Peninsula, such as those of Japan and elsewhere.”

"Mr Trump has tried to use trade incentives to pressure China into doing more to stop North Korea’s development of nuclear weapons", but Mr Sin implied this tactic would not work.

“The nuclear weapon in our possession is not illusion; it is not a commodity that may be traded for American dollars, nor is it for sale. So it cannot be put on the negotiating table with the aim to rip it off,” he said.

The country’s deputy ambassador to the United Nations, Kim In Ryong, has called the US a “gangster” hellbent on “disturbing peace and stability”. He accused the Trump administration of turning the Korean peninsula into “the world’s biggest hotspot” and creating “a dangerous situation in which a thermonuclear war may break out at any moment”.

“If the United States dares opt for a military action … the DPRK [Democratic People’s Republic of Korea] is ready to react to any mode of war desired by the Americans,” Mr Kim told a news conference at the UN headquarters in New York. “We will take the toughest counteraction against the provocateurs.” He said North Korea was acting in self defence and would respond to any threat of nuclear weapons or intercontinental ballistic missiles “in kind”.

North Korea’s vice foreign minister has also maintained the threatening language, telling the BBC there would be “all-out war” if the US took military action. “We’ll be conducting more missile tests on a weekly, monthly and yearly basis,” Han Song-Ryol said. Mr Trump’s remark that North Korea has “gotta behave” was made off the cuff on Monday when he was asked whether he had any message for North Korea or its leader, Kim Jong-un. His comment comes after a tense weekend on the Korean Peninsula where the North celebrated the 105th birthday of its founding father, Kim Il-sung, with an elaborate military parade on Saturday that showed off its growing missile arsenal. The triumphant procession, intended to show off the nation’s military might, was followed by a major embarrassment for the current leader. A ballistic missile test launched near a submarine base on the country’s east coast failed seconds after lift-off Sunday morning.

The US provoked North Korea’s ire when it sent a naval strike group, including aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson and three guided-missile destroyers, to the region ahead of the anniversary, which is one of the biggest days on the country’s calendar.

US vice president Mike Pence visited the South Korean capital Seoul on Monday as part of a tour of Asia, where he warned the North not to test the resolve of the US President on military matters. “The world witnessed the strength and resolve of our new president in actions taken in Syria and Afghanistan,” the US Vice President said. “North Korea would do well not to test his resolve or the strength of the armed forces of the United States in the region.” He said “all options are on the table” in response to North Korea and that the “era of strategic patience is over”. Two North Korean soldiers watched Mr Pence closely as he visited the demilitarised zone on Monday, with one taking photographs of the visiting leader.

White House spokesman Sean Spicer said Mr Trump would not draw “red lines” over North Korea and he would continue to play his cards “close to his vest” in terms of his military strategy. “The action that he took in Syria showed, when appropriate, this President will take decisive action,” Mr Spicer said, in reference to Mr Trump’s missile attack in April in retaliation to the Middle Eastern nation’s use of chemical weapons against its own people. Mr Spicer also praised China for its “historic” decision to take a “much more active role” against North Korea through economic actions. “I don’t think there’s anybody in the world who would not believe that North Korea’s actions are both provocative and a concern,” Mr Spicer told reporters Monday afternoon.

One security expert told The New York Times, the tension between the US and North Korea looks like “the Cuban missile crisis in slow motion".